Complying with the BrokerCheck Reference and Link Requirements in FINRA Rule 2210
FINRA Rule 2210(d)(8) (Communications with the Public) requires a firm to include a readily apparent reference and hyperlink to BrokerCheck on the initial Web page that the firm intends to be viewed by retail investors, and any other webpage that includes a professional profile of one or more registered persons, who conduct business with retail investors. A summary of the rule’s requirements is available in Regulatory Notice 15-50 (SEC Approves Rule Requiring Members' Websites to Include a Readily Apparent Reference and Hyperlink to BrokerCheck).
As a reminder, in order to determine what constitutes a readily apparent reference and hyperlink, member firms should adopt the perspective of a reasonable retail investor when making this determination, including considering:
- (1) placement (i.e., whether the reference and hyperlink are visible as soon as a person lands on the website or only after significant scrolling; if scrolling is required, whether it is clear that further information is available below the screen that is being viewed; the type of information that is in close proximity to the description and hyperlink; and whether the BrokerCheck reference and hyperlink are set out separately or buried in a long paragraph);
- (2) font size (i.e., whether the font size of the description and hyperlink are similar to the font size of other information on the page); and
- (3) font color (i.e., whether the font color of the description and hyperlink contrasts or blends in with the website's background).
Furthermore, as noted in Regulatory Notice 15-50, FINRA generally does not believe that including the required reference and hyperlink to BrokerCheck in a footer would satisfy the "readily apparent" standard.
To help firms satisfy the requirements, FINRA is providing optional tools and resources, as well as guidelines for using the BrokerCheck logo. These optional tools and resources include:
- instructions for linking to BrokerCheck;
- instructions and tools for creating direct links to a firm or registered person’s BrokerCheck page;
- a tool for creating a custom BrokerCheck widget on a firm’s website, which allows users to search only registered persons at the firm without leaving the firm’s website; and
- resources to allow registered persons to create custom references to BrokerCheck using raw graphical files.
Link to BrokerCheck
To satisfy the rule’s requirements, a firm can add a link on its website to take customers directly to the BrokerCheck homepage at http://brokercheck.finra.org.
FINRA suggests—but does not require—that the following text description be used (with the text "FINRA's BrokerCheck" being the active hyperlink).
- Check the background of this firm on FINRA's BrokerCheck.
- Check the background of this investment professional on FINRA's BrokerCheck.
Creating a Link to a Specific Firm or Registered Person’s BrokerCheck Profile
While not required by the rule, some firms and registered persons may find it beneficial to link directly to their BrokerCheck profile (thereby bypassing the initial BrokerCheck homepage).
FINRA is providing both basic instructions and tools for use in creating direct links.
To create a direct link to a specific firm or individual’s BrokerCheck record, a firm will need the firm’s or individual’s CRD number. A firm may use the URL below and include the firm’s or registered representative’s CRD number at the end of the URL. For example:
- To create a direct link for a firm whose CRD number is 12345, the URL would be: https://brokercheck.finra.org/firm/summary/12345.
- To create a direct link for a registered representative whose CRD number is 12345, the URL would be: https://brokercheck.finra.org/individual/summary/12345.
FINRA suggests—but does not require—that the following text description be used (with the text “FINRA’s BrokerCheck” being the active hyperlink).
- Check the background of this firm on FINRA’s BrokerCheck.
- Check the background of this investment professional on FINRA’s BrokerCheck.
Raw Files Download
Firms or individuals who would like to use a custom BrokerCheck image on their website should leverage the offered graphics below. The BrokerCheck logo should never be embellished, outlined or altered in any way. Always use an approved electronic version of the logo. The official colors for BrokerCheck are listed below.
- Background color: #51A2DA
- Light-Background color: #EBF1F5
- Dark-Blue color: #1D6CA5
- Red color: #FB483D
- White: #FFFFFF
- Background color: 81, 162, 218
- Light-Background color: 235, 241, 245
- Dark-Blue color: 29, 108, 165
- Red color: 251, 72, 61
- White: 255, 255, 255
Direct Link Tools for Registered Representatives
A firm may use the following tools to create direct links to a registered person’s BrokerCheck profile.
Option #1 - Full Color
Option #2 - Black and White
Option #3 - Transparent Background
Option #4 - Full Color
Option #5 - Black and White
Option #6 - Transparent Background
Check the background of this investment professional on FINRA's BrokerCheck »
Option #7 - Text-only link
Using the BrokerCheck Widget on Your Website
A firm may choose to use a BrokerCheck widget to satisfy the rule’s requirements.
The BrokerCheck widget includes a search box that resides on the firm’s website and allows customers to enter and select an individual’s name, view a summary of that individual’s profile and opt to receive the individual’s detailed profile.
Firms can customize the tool so users search only employees at the firm and its affiliates.
The widget reduces the need for users to travel to the BrokerCheck website, helps limit confusion between registered representatives with similar names at other firms, and minimizes the risk of selecting a representative at a different firm.
Installing FINRA's BrokerCheck Widget
Embedding FINRA's BrokerCheck widget onto a Web page involves three easy steps.
Step 1: Obtain the source code from the 2210 Widget Wizard
The 2210 BrokerCheck wizard will generate a source code snippet for you to paste into your Web page(s). Please copy this code before closing the wizard.
Step 2: Insert the Widget Source Code:
Go to the html code of the page where the BrokerCheck Widget needs to be displayed, and paste the source code in the appropriate section.
Step 3: Save your work:
Once you have pasted the source code into your Web page, simply save your work. When you refresh the page in your browser, the BrokerCheck 2210 widget will now display at the location where you inserted the source code.
Note: There may be additional deployment steps that are required depending on the setup of your firm and/or the vendor you may be using.
- The BrokerCheck widget uses iframe protocol.
- The BrokerCheck widget is designed to be mobile compatible.
The BrokerCheck widget is compatible with IE11, IE10, IE9, Firefox, Safari and Chrome.
The widget is responsive and will adjust the display accordingly for the container size. However, there are some restrictions. Due to readability concerns, the widget will size itself no smaller than 250px wide by 300px tall, and no larger than 480px wide by 480px tall.
FINRA Compliance Tool Disclaimer
This optional tool is provided to assist member firms in fulfilling their regulatory obligations. This tool is provided as a starting point and you must tailor this tool to reflect the size and needs of your firm. Using this tool does not guarantee compliance with or create any safe harbor with respect to FINRA rules, the federal securities laws or state laws, or other applicable federal or state regulatory requirements. This tool does not create any new legal or regulatory obligations for firms or other entities.
Updates – This tool was last updated on November, 22, 2021. This tool does not reflect any regulatory changes since that date. FINRA periodically reviews and update these tools. FINRA reminds member firms to stay apprised of new or amended laws, rules and regulations, and update their WSPs and compliance programs on an ongoing basis.
Member firms seeking additional guidance on certain regulatory obligations should review the relevant FINRA Topic Pages.
Staff Contact(s) – FINRA's Office of General Counsel (OGC) staff provides broker-dealers, attorneys, registered representatives, investors and other interested parties with interpretative guidance relating to FINRA’s rules. Please see Interpreting the Rules for more information